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The defending majority

— The Los Angeles Times uses the GOP's investment in an Idaho House seat to look at how the pool of competitive Republican-held seats "has jumped week by week, giving Democrats an ever-bigger target to shoot at...  Even a top Republican strategist estimates that the number of highly vulnerable Republican seats has more than doubled in recent weeks - and now far exceeds the 15 seats Democrats need to pick up to win a House majority...  Still, some analysts say Republicans could reduce their losses in the final weeks of the campaign if the spotlight moves to issues that play to GOP strengths, such as the war on terrorism and falling gasoline prices." 

The Washington Times reports anecdotal evidence of a dispirited Christian conservative base.  "With Election Day less than three weeks away, however, efforts to mobilize conservative voters are intensifying.  Top Republicans -- including [Bush], his chief strategist Karl Rove, [Cheney] and [RNC chair] Ken Mehlman -- have been meeting with conservative activists, columnists and broadcasters, emphasizing the importance of this midterm election.  That message has rippled out via newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and the Internet...  Republican media consultant Craig Shirley said the party's national leadership appears to be trying to scare disaffected voters to the polls by arguing that Republicans aren't as bad as the Democrats."